Wisconsin Woodchucks sold to La Crosse area native - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin Woodchucks sold to La Crosse area native

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The Wisconsin Woodchucks will enter the 2012 season with a new owner.

Clark Eckhoff sold the team to La Crosse area native Mark Macdonald.  The sale is already completed.  The Northwoods League does not allow terms of the sale to be announced.

Eckhoff will stay on as chairperson of the Woodchucks advisory board.  The rest of the front office personnel will continue in their current roles.

Macdonald says he grew up a baseball fan and gained an athletics/hospitality background while working at his family's business, the Riverview Inn restaurant and golf course, in North Bend, Wisconsin.  

He graduated from UW-La Crosse in 1981, received his MBA in finance from Portland State University in Oregon and worked in the investment field for 30 years with Farmers Insurance and the American Funds.

Eckhoff bought the team in 1999 when it was known as the Wausau Woodchucks.  At the time it was the only Wisconsin team in the Northwoods League.  Eckhoff re-named the club the Wisconsin Woodchucks, aiming to brand it for all of North Central Wisconsin. 

It worked.  Attendance went up and the team performed well on the field.  The Chucks won league championships in 2001 and 2003.  

Eckhoff helped form the Central Wisconsin Baseball Hall of Fame.  He was inducted into the hall in 2005.

Eckhoff says he plans to spend more time with his family.  He says his daughters practically grew up around the ballpark in the summertime.  And it's some of the most treasured memories he has of Athletic Park.

But you can still catch him around the park.  He plans to be out there, cheering on the Woodchucks.

The Chucks open the 2012 season at Eau Claire on May 30th.  Their home opener is scheduled for Friday, June 1st.

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